2017 Economic Calendar
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GDP  
Released On 4/28/2017 8:30:00 AM For Q1(a):2017
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Real GDP - Q/Q change - SAAR2.1 %1.1 %0.7 % to 1.7 %0.7 %
GDP price index - Q/Q change - SAAR2.1 %2.0 %1.4 % to 2.4 %2.3 %
Real Consumer Spending – Q/Q change – SAAR3.5 %0.7 %0.4 % to 1.5 %0.3 %

Highlights
The weakest showing since the last recession for consumer spending held down first-quarter GDP which could manage only a 0.7 percent rate of annualized growth. Consumer spending rose at only 0.3 percent which is by far the worst showing since no change in fourth-quarter 2009.

Weak vehicle sales are a major negative in the quarter's consumer breakdown, pulling durables down at a 2.5 percent rate and offsetting a 1.5 percent rise in non-durables and a slow 0.4 percent showing for services.

Weakness in consumer spending is strongly associated with recession but not other data in the report. At a 13.7 percent pace, residential investment posted a second straight very strong quarter. And in a rare show of strength, nonresidential investment, which has been subdued, jumped at a 9.4 percent rate with both structures and equipment showing unusual strength. A surge in mining investment is a standout of the report.

The net export gap narrowed slightly which was a small plus for the quarter while a drop in government purchases was a negative. A sizable negative for the quarter was a slowing in inventory build, pulling GDP down by 0.9 percentage points but also keeping in check what may be unwanted stock given the weakness in consumer spending. Looking at final demand, which excludes the inventory effect, final sales rose 1.6 percent which is an improvement from the fourth quarter's 1.1 percent.

This is a mixed report with the weakness in consumer spending not fitting with the strength in investment. Still, all the sky high confidence readings in the quarter did nothing to help actual spending. In other data, prices show pressure with the GDP price index at 2.3 percent for a 2 tenths gain and the core also at 2.3 percent for a 5 tenths gain.

Recent History Of This Indicator
First-quarter GDP is expected to be soft, at a consensus 1.1 percent price-adjusted annualized pace, down from an already soft 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter. Consumer spending was very solid in the fourth quarter, at a 3.5 percent pace, but is seen slowing to only 0.7 percent on weak vehicle sales and lower heating bills. This would be the lowest showing for consumer spending in 5 years. The GDP price index is expected to slip 1 tenth to 2.0 percent.

Definition
Gross Domestic Product represents the total value of the country's production during the period and consists of the purchases of domestically-produced goods and services by individuals, businesses, foreigners and government entities. Data are available in nominal and real (inflation-adjusted) dollars, as well as in index form. Economists and market players always monitor the real growth rates generated by the GDP quantity index or the real dollar value. The quantity index measures inflation-adjusted activity, but we are more accustomed to looking at dollar values.

Household purchases are counted in personal consumption expenditures -- durable goods (such as furniture and cars), nondurable goods (such as clothing and food) and services (such as banking, education and transportation). Private housing purchases are classified as residential investment. Businesses invest in nonresidential structures, durable equipment and computer software. Inventories at all stages of production are counted as investment. Only inventory changes, not levels, are added to GDP.

Net exports equal the sum of exports less imports. Exports are the purchases by foreigners of goods and services produced in the United States. Imports represent domestic purchases of foreign-produced goods and services and must be deducted from the calculation of GDP. Government purchases of goods and services are the compensation of government employees and purchases from businesses and abroad. Data show the portion attributed to consumption and investment. Government outlays for transfer payments or interest payments are not included in GDP.

The GDP price index is a comprehensive indicator of inflation. It is typically lower than the consumer price index because investment goods (which are in the GDP price index but not the CPI) tend to have lower rates of inflation than consumer goods and services. Note that contributions of each component, as averaged over the prior year, are tracked in the table below (components do not exactly sum to total due to chain-weighted methodology). Consumption expenditures, otherwise known as consumer spending, has over history been steadily making up an increasing share of GDP.  Why Investors Care
 
[Chart]
Real GDP growth is always quoted at a quarterly annual rate. It measures how much the economy has grown over a three-month period. Quarterly growth rates are often volatile consequently, economists also like to look at the year-over-year growth in GDP. The yearly changes tend to be more stable.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
 
[Chart]
It is common to compare quarterly changes at annual rates in the GDP deflator. These can be volatile, just like the quarterly swings in real GDP growth as a result, the trend in inflation is better determined by year- over- year changes.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
 
 

2017 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/272/283/304/285/266/297/288/309/2810/2711/2912/21
Release For: Q4(a):2016Q4(p):2016Q4(f):2016Q1(a):2017Q1(p):2017Q1(f):2017Q2(a):2017Q2(p):2017Q2(f):2017Q3(a):2017Q3(p):2017Q3(f):2017
 
A: Advance P: Preliminary F: Final


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